Friday, February 28, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Here are the some of the key events taking place in the “Caitlin Star” universe.
1983 – A mysterious muscle-bound vigilante makes his first appearance defending a homeless man against a gang of bullies. It is the first documented appearance of the man known as “Gunner Star”.
1985 – Gunner Star takes on his first protégé, a stock trader genius named Zahn. Gunner teaches him the “Bull Mongoni philosophy”, a credo of beliefs based on the teachings of a mythic race of hominids who vanished long ago.
1985 – 1990 – Gunner and Zahn become the Batman and Robin of Pittsburgh. They operate out of the shadows dispensing social justice and defending those who have no voice or power to fight back.
1990 – Zahn becomes increasingly aggressive and fanatical, wanting to go beyond the mission parameters of enacting vigilante justice. “All humans are evil. This mistake of history must be reversed. Only then can the Bull Mongoni rise again.” Gunner believes there are worthy humans who will have a place in the new world.
1991 - The disagreement between Gunner and Zahn leads to a falling out and a physical showdown. Zahn vanishes from Gunner Star’s Lair of Doom.
1992 – Gunner Star goes dark.
1999 – Gunner Star re-emerges as he takes on a new protégé named Joe Fenton.
2003 – Gunner Star rescues a young thirteen year-old girl from a group of would-be rapists and begins to train her in the ways of the Bull Mongoni. That girl is Caitlin Star.
2004 – Joe Fenton publishes the book, “The Sacred Scrolls ofTarmok”. It is the first time knowledge of the Bull Mongoni has been made public. The book becomes an instant sensation and soon there is world-wide movement of Bull Mongoni disciples.
2005 - Gunner Star begins recruiting and training an elite band of warriors to build an underground army for the dark days of revolution that lay ahead.
2012 – A new recruit arrives at Gunner’s Lair and is to be trained by Caitlin. His name is Tyrone Fulton.
2012 – An anthropology professor named Lithgow and his grad student Lori travel to the Congo to verify an extraordinary event near a wildlife sanctuary—the arrival of a Bull Mongoni from the past named Tarmok.
2016 – The escalating culture wars result in the rigged election of a President Perkins and his new Moral Authority. Soon, any talk of an earth older than 6000 years is a felony and the bodies of all women of reproductive age are declared property of the state.
2018 – Perkins dissolves the Supreme Court and declares all of North America under the Moral Authority rule. Led by Caitlin Star and the Bull Mongoni, revolution begins!
Related and recommended
Friday, February 7, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
A book review of "Divergent"
The most difficult obstacle to overcome is high expectations. “Divergent” is a wildly popular novel. It has garnered almost universal critical praise, has a rabid following at Goodreads, is a NY Times Bestseller, is about to become a blockbuster motion picture event, and follows close on the heels of another wildly popular book in the same sub-genre, written in a similar style, with a similar premise and main character. It is also in a genre and sub-genre I happen to love—science fiction, dystopian, action adventure.
Talk about having a mountain of expectations to live up to!
I am happy to report that “Divergent” is a thoroughly gripping—and at times downright riveting—epic tale anchored by a strong narrative voice and a great main character. Author Veronica Roth writes with a supreme confidence of a veteran storyteller as she draws us into the world of a dystopian Chicago by taking us into the mind of Tris as she approaches her sixteenth birthday—the day when one must choose their faction. Factions are isolated cultures, each with their own very specific code of conduct and lifestyle. What makes Tris special is she does not really fit neatly into any one of these factions—she is a “divergent”—someone who cannot be programmed and controlled so easily—someone who can think and react independently. Someone who is dangerous to the powers to be—sinister characters who are making corrupt plans where control means everything.
Post-apocalyptic societies set up in separate classes and divisions have been a staple of dystopian science fiction since H.G. Wells. But the author does a nice job in creating the factions in the book, making each one unique and believable—especially “The Dauntless”, the faction Tris joins. The Dauntless are essentially a society of daredevils and this makes for some suspenseful and exciting sequences as Tris undergoes her training.
This is a meaty novel, in terms of content, as well as length. But it reads fast. Very fast. Only at one point did the pacing slack a bit when some of the training scenes became repetitive about three quarters into the book. But then—wow—stuff starts to happen and happen and happen fast. The final seventy-five pages are absolutely riveting, jam-packed with revelations and colorful action that never lets up until the exhilarating finale.
Does “Divergent live up to the hype? Oh you bet it does! This is a five star read sure to be enjoyed by anyone who likes young adult dystopia, science fiction, or action adventure of any kind.
It goes without saying that anyone who likes this book will also want to read “The Hunger Games”, and probably has. But there are also some classic science fiction dystopia books “Divergent” fans may want to check out including Robert Silverberg’s “The World Inside”, Adlous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, David Brin’s “The Postman”, and “Logan’s Run” by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.